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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

1-2
22 September 2018 Venue The Kassam Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

PREVIEW Oxford United v Walsall

We look ahead to Saturday's Sky Bet League 1 game at Grenoble Road

21 September 2018

Oxford United welcome Walsall to Grenoble Road on Saturday. Here we have a full guide to the game.

Team News

The U's welcome back Jamie Hanson after suspension but  are without Cameron Brannagan who is ruled out on medical grounds after a clash of heads at Wycombe last Saturday. Jamie Mackie, who missed that game with a hip injury, has subsequently seen a specialist and been ruled out for around six weeks, while Marcus Browne, who was on the bench last Saturday will be out of action for three weeks with a knee injury.

With two or three further knocks and strains the U's were down to 15 fit players after training yesterday and Head Coach Karl Robinson will monitor things closely before naming his side, with youngsters Fabio Lopes and Tsun Dai also nursing injuries at the moment.

There was good news with Samir Carruthers due to resume training in the next couple of weeks and Simon Eastwood not too far behind.

See Karl Robinson and Ricky Holmes previewing the game, plus a full Preview Show, all in iFollow ahead of the match.

The Opposition

Walsall lost for the first time last Saturday when beaten at home by Doncaster but remain unbeaten away from home and handily placed in sixth place in the table. Manager Dean Keates has been in place for six months and is enjoying life with the Saddlers

“To this point I am pleased – we achieved what we wanted last season and this season we have done OK,” he said. “I am very disappointed with Saturday. Our pride was hurt. But there has been a lot of change. We have integrated the new players into the squad and they have had an impact.There are still a lot of players from last season so there has been a lot of juggling.

“This club represents where I am from and what I have been about my whole life. It’s my hometown club. I stood on the terraces at Fellows Park and at the Banks’s."

Tickets

You can save time and money by printing tickets at home after ordering online HERE. The ticket office is open to personal callers and phone calls on 01865 337533 throughout Friday and from 12.15 on Saturday

Getting Here

The Football Special buses are running as usual. For the full timetables click HERE

Away Fans

If you are a Walsall fan travelling to the game then a full Supporters Guide is available here: OUFCAwayDayInfo.pdf Don't forget that there is a special away version of the matchday programme with additional information for visiting supporters.

Club Shop

The Club Shop has taken stock of all sizes of the brilliant new home shirt and with the 'Sea of Yellow' on Tuesday when we play Manchester City why not call in before or after the game, or for an hour after the final whistle, or visit oufcshop.co.uk.

Family

Oxford United pride ourselves on proividing a great atmosphere for families to enjoy. We have a full Family Guide to games available HERE: OUFC Family Guide

Family Room

Join us in the Family Room - open to all junior supporters from 1.30 onwards and hosting a whole range of activities as well as visits from Olly the Ox and the players. It's free to everyone and located in the east corner of the North Stand

Coverage

iFollow is back with full commentary on the game, thanks to our friends at BBC Oxford, and live video for overseas fans. There will also be reaction from the key men after the game, and you can follow all the action on Twitter at @OUFCOfficial.

Walsall Videos

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Match Reports

REPORT Oxford United 1 Walsall 2

U's lose to the Saddlers. Full time report

19 Hours ago

Oxford United's difficult start to the season continued with a 2-1 defeat at home to Walsall this afternoon. Goals from the dangerous Morgan Ferrier and former United loanee Zeli Ismail kept the Saddlers riding high at the top of the table, despite a late goal from James Henry that proved to be just a consolation.

Skipper John Mousinho volleyed the first chance of the afternoon wide on eight minutes although it was Walsall who then created three very presentable opportunities. They should have opened the scoring when Jon Guthrie didn’t get enough power on a header at the back post after ten minutes, Ismail fired straight at keeper Jon Mitchell after 15 minutes and Josh Gordan forced Mitchell into another save on 20 minutes.

The warning signs were there and half way through the first half the Saddlers were in front. Ferrier span in to space behind the United back line and then planted the ball through the helpless Mitchell’s legs. United protested loudly that he started from an offside position, but the goal stood and the U’s were a goal behind.

They responded positively and the two centre-halves almost got them level within five minutes. First Curtis Nelson smashed a header at goal which visiting keeper Liam Roberts saved brilliantly. Then as the pressure began to build Mousinho improvised to knee a tricky bouncing ball goalwards but the ball bounced down off the bar and was cleared in a scramble as the Walsall defence mopped up the danger.

However, the visitors should have doubled their lead on 36 when the United goal had a blessed let off. First Gordan was alive and flashed an effort against the post and then Ferrier smacked the rebound on to the bar from about five yards out.

United started the second half strongly as they chased the game, with a clipped effort from Henry drifting narrowly wide but just before the hour they were 2-0 down and had a mountain to climb. Jamie Hanson's square ball was picked off and allowed Gordan to slip the ball to the right channel where Ismail fired across Mitchell and into the bottom left corner to make it 2-0.

Having to try and claw their way back from a two-goal deficit meant United needed to gamble and risk being picked off by a Walsall side well capable of countering. Although Henry had a flick that flashed just wide at one end there was always the danger that the visitors might score again, Ferrier hitting the bar one more time to underline the danger.

United kept going and sub Jon Obika nodded a half chance over before Henry - United's most likely route to goal all day - gave his side a lifeline by sliding in to stab home a Whyte cross-shot with five minutes to go. In the end too little, too late but some reward for perseverance at least and it might even have ended a draw when sub Rob Dickie, thrown on up front, was adjudged to have fouled when to most eyes it was a foul the other way inside the box...

Indeed, there was no shortage of effort from the men in Yellow, but Walsall looked solid and effective and are a side high on confidence right now. United meanwhile will need to regroup.

Not just for Tuesday night against champions Manchester City, but for some far more important games to come in League 1.

Att: 6,080

Away: 658

Report by Chris Williams, pictures by Steve Daniels, stats by OPTA

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